Web Accessibility Basics
We often hear how the web is constantly changing and evolving. One aspect of the web steadily coming to the forefront is web accessibility. You’ve likely heard the term and about some of the elements that make up an accessible friendly website, but there is a lot to it. In this article, we’ll go over some of the basics of web accessibility to get you started.
What is Web Accessibility?
According to the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, web accessibility means that “people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.”
Why Does It Matter?
Today, accessibility on the web is crucial to many areas of peoples’ lives. Providing individuals with an equal opportunity and equal access is extremely important. Online experiences for millions of people with physical, auditory, visual, cognitive, speech, and neurological disabilities can be made possible or can be hindered by the inclusion or exclusion of accessible elements on websites.
Along with the people who rely on accessible websites to use and contribute to the web, web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities. Many users benefit from the ability to customize their online experience to their personal preferences, specific needs, and individual situations.
Web Accessibility Basics
Many professionals who work with the web play an important part in ensuring web accessibility for others. When it comes to developing and designing a website there are a few basics to keep in mind to help make sure you are on the path to an accessible friendly site. Here are three simple things you can do to get started.
- ALT Tag
- Heading Structure
Make sure that you are including alternative text with images on your website. These tags serve an important role in providing alternative text about images for screen readers. For visitors who are blind, visually impaired, or in cases where a photo will not load on a webpage, the alt tag provides a description of the image.
Contrast is often a factor when considering readability. Making sure that your text contrasts enough with the background color of a page or element is key. Black on white offers significantly stark contrast, while red on black would be considered not contrasting enough.
In web development, headings are created using heading tags. Those tags are numbered 1 through 6, with 1 being the largest heading size and 6 being the smallest of the headings. It is important to use headings in their hierarchal order.
The title of this article is an h1 heading. A page should only have one h1 heading, but you could have multiple h2-h6 headings, though all six are not required. As long as they are presented in order, you are good.
Is Your Site Accessible?
Here at BxB, we do our best to make our websites as accessibly friendly as possible which is why we use the latest plugins, tools, and development practices when building and maintaining websites. Contact us now to find out how we can help you create a strong web presence with an accessible friendly website.